Louis
NATTERO

(1868 - 1915)

Louis Nattero, from a family of Genoese origin, was born in Marseille in 1870. He turned to painting after an unhappy childhood, part of which he spent in an orphanage. In 1891, he married in Toulon and fourteen children were born of this union. During the years 1896 and 1897, he followed the courses of the masters Bonnat and Coste in Paris, but suffering from lead poisoning, he was forced to return to the South where he settled permanently. From the beginning of the 20th century, he painted the Provencal coast and his canvases, exhibited in particular on the Boulevard de la Corderie, were very popular with amateurs. The war destroyed this professional and family balance: three of his sons left for the front and his paintings were no longer sold. The family is in a very precarious situation and the father, ruined and distraught, puts an end to his life in front of one of his sons.

This tragic fate contrasts with the serene atmosphere that emanates from his paintings. His palette is characterized by the use of pastel tones, even diaphanous, in contrast to the violence of the blues of Jean-Baptiste Olive. The motif of fishermen's boats, which is dear to him, is declined according to the changing lights of the Mediterranean. Numerous works also reveal an interest in chiaroscuro, in compositions where the well-known motif of boats stands out against the moon.